PARIS - Diatos completed an international funding round in which it raised EUR15.5 million (US$13.2 million) from a number of venture capital funds.

The financing was co-led by GIMV of Belgium and InterWest Partners of the U.S., and other participants included Sociite Ginirale Asset Management (France), AGF Private Equity (France), Sopartec (Belgium) and Sofinnova Partners (France).

Paris-based Diatos was founded in February 1999 and has operated to date on seed EUR1.5 million provided by Sofinnova. It is developing products for the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases using proprietary intracellular and intranuclear drug delivery systems based on the use of cell-translocating antibodies and peptides.

According to Antoine Papiernik, general partner at Sofinnova Partners, "Diatos has met all its milestones since our seed investment, and this new round gives the company the means to further develop its technology and bring to the clinic its most advanced compounds." At GIMV, of Antwerp, Frank Bulens, senior investment manager for venture capital life sciences, said, "Diatos is looking at a huge potential market. I am convinced that the company will validate its proprietary delivery platform, closing both technology and drug delivery deals."

For InterWest, of Menlo Park, Calif., this investment represents its first participation in "financing a start-up biotechnology company based in Europe," said general partner Arnold Oronsky. "In our search for promising novel health care technologies, it was necessary to expand our efforts to a global arena. With its powerful delivery technology and skilled management team . . . Diatos was a logical first choice."